Nosebleeds During Exercise

The intricate network of blood vessels inside your nose tends to be delicate and easily disturbed. When you are powering through a workout session, strain combined with the climate you are exercising in can potentially lead to a nosebleed. While nosebleeds are a fairly common occurrence, there are some times when they are cause for concern. Always talk to your physician if you experience chronic exercise-induced nosebleeds.


Also known as epistaxis, a nosebleed results from trauma to either the front or back of the nose. Anterior nosebleeds in the front of your nose can flow from one or both nostrils, even flowing back into your throat at times. Posterior nosebleeds, or those in the back of your throat, are the more concerning of the nosebleed types, according to Columbia University Medical Center. Knowing what kind of nosebleed you experience during exercise may help your physician determine your nosebleed’s cause.


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A nosebleed can occur from something as simple as blowing air too hard out of your nose. This can occur when you are exercising because you tend to breathe harder than you do in your everyday activities. Intense straining during exercise also can disturb the delicate blood vessel lining and contribute to a nosebleed. Also, the environment you are exercising in may cause a nosebleed because exercising in dry, cold air is associated with greater risk for nosebleeds because the air dries out your nasal passages and makes them more vulnerable to damage. Allergic irritants in the environment, such as pollen, that irritate your tissues also can cause a nosebleed.


While exercise-induced nosebleeds are not typically cause for concern, they can keep you on the sidelines for a while. If you have recently experienced a nosebleed, prevent a future one from occurring by taking a few days’ rest from strenuous exercise to allow your nasal passages time to heal. If you exercise at home use a humidifier, which adds moisture to the air to prevent nasal passage dryness. Taking strong exhales with your mouth instead of your nose during intense exercise also may help reduce the risk for rupturing blood vessels. Finally, avoid rubbing or picking at your nose while exercising to minimize damage to the area.


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Some exercise-induced nosebleeds may warrant further medical attention. This is the case if you have experienced trauma to your nose, such as a dropped weight or a fall or blow to the head. A nosebleed that occurs after such occurrences could signal a broken nose, according to If your nose bleeds for more than 20 minutes, you are taking blood thinners or you have other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, and experience frequent nosebleeds, see your physician.